Rising Damp. Rupert Rigsby (Leonard Rossiter). Copyright: Yorkshire Television.

Rising Damp

ITV sitcom about a bad landlord. 28 episodes (pilot + 4 series), 1974 - 1978. Stars Leonard Rossiter, Frances de la Tour, Richard Beckinsale, Don Warrington and Gay Rose.


Rising Damp sprang from a play by writer Eric Chappell entitled The Banana Box, in whose London runs Leonard Rossiter starred as landlord Rooksby.

The pilot episode - and indeed the series - were originally to be titled Rooksby, after the main character of The Banana Box. However, "at the eleventh hour" writer Eric Chapell changed the titles and character name - Rooksby became Rigsby - after a real-life landlord called Rooksby raised "strong objections".

Some versions of the pilot still give the on-screen episode title as Rooksby.

A short exchange from the final episode of Series 1, Stand Up And Be Counted, is sampled toward the end of the 1997 song Amnesia by Chumbawamba:

Alan: What about free speech?
Rigsby: That's not the point. You're giving this place a bad name. I've got my position to think of.

Richard Beckinsale did not take part in the fourth and final series of Rising Damp as he was appearing on stage in the West End at the time filming was taking place in Leeds.